Ron Poniewasz Jr.
New Castle News
NEW CASTLE —
The Mohawk High girls soccer team took a big step toward reaching the WPIAL playoffs last night.
Amber Dougherty scored a goal early in the first half and the Lady Warriors’ defense made it stand in a 1-0 WPIAL Section 1-A home win over Neshannock.
Mohawk (7-5-1 section, 8-6-1 overall) sits in fourth place in the section with one section game remaining. The Lady Warriors host Our Lady of the Sacred Heart on Saturday.
Four teams in the WPIAL in Class A from each section qualify for the district playoffs.
“It was a big game for us; it keeps us in the playoff hunt,” Mohawk coach Mike Shornack said. “I thought we would get fired up and we did. My senior captains (Dougherty and Katelyn Byers) get the girls ready each game and I can’t say enough about them.”
Mikala Mangino assisted on Dougherty’s goal.
Freshman goalkeeper Aliya Gage made 13 saves to preserve the shutout.
“Aliya is tough. She looks like a college player back there; she’s a good athlete,” Shornack said. “If you hold Neshannock to nothing, you’ve done a great job.
“This was a good defensive game. Corey Mitchell and Doreen Clark both played very well defensively for us.”
The Lady Lancers (9-4-1, 10-5-1) came in with second place already clinched. Sewickley Academy (14-0, 15-0-1) is the section champion.
“Mohawk definitely played a strong defense,” Neshannock coach Christine McConnell said. “Mohawk had a lot to play for; (last night) was important for them and we knew that going in. We played much better as a team in the second half.”
Rachel Iorio, a sophomore goalkeeper, made four saves for the Lady Lancers.
“Rachel definitely made some key saves,” McConnell said. “A lot of times she can step out and clear the ball for us. She’s always improving every game.”
Mohawk won the previous matchup with Neshannock, 2-0. The Lady Lancers’ regular season is complete.
“We’ll have a couple of practices this week and we’ll try to sort things out for the playoffs,” McConnell said. “We have the time to address our fitness and conditioning. Thankfully we don’t have any injuries.”
The playoff pairings will be announced Wednesday.
Lady ’Canes roll
Kennedy Hudson recorded 15 assists and five kills for New Castle in a 25-14, 25-19, 25-20 nonsection road win over Aliquippa.
Mackenzie Mastren scooped up 12 digs for New Castle, which is competing as an independent this season. The Lady ’Canes will shift back to the WPIAL next year.
Kayla Magusiak slammed seven kills with four aces for the winners, and Sarita Anderson added six aces and three kills. Shannon Dudich contributed five aces and three kills.
“I think it was a team effort (last night),” New Castle coach Michael Spelich said. “We started out a little disorganized, but we played well.
“We’re stressing picking up our intensity. If we can do that we’ll be more successful overall. We’re looking to continue this momentum into next week.”